Notes From Abroad: Finding My Way

Before beginning our internships, my professor instructed everyone in my program to do a “dry run” on the tube in order to avoid getting lost on the first day of work. My “dry run” was a disaster. I went to the tube station and got specific instructions on how to get to Bond Street. The tube system is very similar to my hometown NYC subway stations. But instead of using a Metrocard, the tube requires an Oyster card. You fill out a form that you give to the clerk and pay for the amount you want. When they issue the oyster card it comes with an insurance card so if you lose it, it can be replaced (Gotta love that). And instead of swiping it, you scan in for entry and you also have to scan out to exit.

Once I successfully arrived at Bond Street, that's where everything went downhill. Apparently, my internship is located on a small side street that is not well known to many Londoners in the neighborhood. I walked up and down Bond Street and couldn't find it. I walked to the American Embassy, map in hand, urgently asking for directions. The police officer at the embassy was nice, and he even radioed someone who gave him directions, but I still couldn’t find it. Although I was lost, I did notice the beautiful shops and upscale boutiques. I walked passed familiar stores, like Issey Miyake, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein. Then I walked into an office building and asked a security guard to help me—of course he had no clue what I was talking about. Luckily, a very nice lady who worked in the building sensed my frustration and took me upstairs to her office and gave me a copy of her map that thankfully showed me the side street I was desperately seeking. When I left her office, I felt a bit more confidant that I might just find it in person. No luck. By this time, two hours had gone by. I almost had a panic attack right there in the middle of the street. But then I pulled it together and gave myself a pep talk, “Girl, you are from New York City, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” It must’ve helped because after starting over, I looked to my right and found the bloody side street, Haunch of Venison Yard. I was so relieved! I just may survive this.